Fix is in on capped­price ser­vic­ing

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - JOSHUA DOWLING NATIONAL MO­TOR­ING EDI­TOR joshua.dowling@cars­ This re­porter is on Twit­ter: @JoshuaDowling

NOT all fixed-price ser­vic­ing deals are cre­ated equally.

Some bud­get hatch­backs can cost more to main­tain than a lux­ury car, a sur­vey by

Cars­guide has found. Seven of the top 10 brands have capped-priced ser­vic­ing. But of­ten the capped pric­ing runs out just be­fore ex­pen­sive rou­tine main­te­nance be­gins, or doesn’t cover the war­ranty pe­riod. Some brands re­quire twice-yearly dealer ser­vic­ing.

In the most dra­matic ex­am­ple of the dif­fer­ences, a $13,990 Nis­san Mi­cra hatch­back costs $1584 to ser­vice over three years, more than $700 or 80 per cent dearer than the cost of reg­u­lar check­ups on a Volk­swa­gen Golf diesel ($876). Toy­ota’s heavy­duty Land­Cruiser costs $1260.

Com­par­ing like with like, the new Nis­san Pul­sar costs $1641 to ser­vice, more than twice that of a Toy­ota Corolla ($780).

Among the top-sell­ing brands, the cheap­est cars to main­tain over three years are the Hyundai i20 ($567), Holden Ba­rina ($740), Mit­subishi Mi­rage ($750) and Toy­ota Yaris ($780). How­ever, Hyundai’s capped price ser­vic­ing runs out two years be­fore its five-year war­ranty ends, Holden re­quires cus­tomers to visit ev­ery nine months, and Toy­ota six months.

Other anom­alies: most diesel cars are con­sis­tently dearer to ser­vice than petrol equiv­a­lents. But in some cases diesel main­te­nance is cheaper in the ini­tial ser­vice pe­riod, ris­ing sharply as the ve­hi­cle ages.

Capped price ser­vic­ing was in­tro­duced to take the guess­work out of car run­ning costs and stop some rogue op­er­a­tors from over­charg­ing.

Fig­ures from ac­count­ing firm Deloittes show the parts de­part­ments and work­shop ac­count for ap­prox­i­mately half of a deal­er­ship’s profit.

New ve­hi­cle prices have fallen, mean­ing slim­mer mar­gins, so deal­ers have used their ser­vice bays to make up some of the short­fall.

The Aus­tralian Au­to­mo­bile As­so­ci­a­tion says mo­torists are not obliged to take their car to a deal­er­ship for rou­tine main­te­nance.

Ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor An­drew McKel­lar says. ‘‘ A log-book ser­vice can be un­der­taken by any li­censed me­chanic with­out com­pro­mis­ing (the war­ranty) so don’t be afraid to shop around.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.